The Absa Premiership encounter at Goble Park kicks off at 19H30 and sees both teams looking for their first points of the season after the Team of Choice lost 0-2 to Golden Arrows at the Harry Gwala Stadium and Stars went down 0-3 to Bidvest Wits in Johannesburg.
In Maritzburg’s league opener against Arrows, they enjoyed more of the ball and had more openings in front of goal, but couldn’t make it count and were instead hit twice by deadly counter-attacks by the Durban side.
So while there were some positives to take from the first game of the season, United head coach Fadlu Davids was also able to identify some key areas which need improving.
“I’m proud of how they adjusted to the new system we played,” he said.
“Just in the final third we need to be more clinical, sometimes we want to run the ball into the net, when we could have a shot, or sometimes we want to play the extra pass sideways instead of going forward.
“So there are things we will work on, we have to change the attacking structure slightly to accommodate certain players.
“You can have the ball and dominate the game, but if you don’t make the correct decisions in the final moments in the final third, having that aggressiveness to score, you won’t win games. So that’s what we have to work on and strengthen.”
Looking to the match on Wednesday, coach Fadlu is expecting a not dissimilar to challenge to that which was faced last Sunday in Pietermaritzburg.
“I said before the Arrows game, they are the best counter-attacking team in the league. Now with Free State Stars, they have a similar style, similar concept (counter-attacking) that we have to be aware of.
“Its always a tough place to go to, Bethlehem, no matter who is coaching and in charge, we know with Luc Eymael, its going to be a crunch game. It will probably be decided in one moment, one counter attack.”
The last time these two sides met was in the Nedbank Cup final, when a solitary goal saw the Free State side clinching the cup in Cape Town. In the corresponding away league match in Bethlehem last season, the Team of Choice won 3-0, but they lost 0-1 at home to Stars in the Absa Premiership.
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